Saturday, May 31, 2008

Getting organized and great yard sale finds!

I ran out this morning to buy some donuts and could not resist the beckoning "Yard Sale" signs. I drove past one that seemed to have mostly baby things and followed a series of signs into a nearby neighborhood where I discovered the yard sale of all yard sales. Boxes and boxes of party supplies; plates, cups, banners etc all $.25 each and an equally large number of boxes filled with costumes, still in their packages, for $1 a piece! At first I was was nervous for the owner of this house, wondering why on earth she would have so much unused party stuff. Well, it turns out that she used to own a party store which closed about a year ago and she is just trying to get rid of her stock. I made out great, for $5 I got three costumes and a handful of misc. party things that I knew the kids would love. Really, for $.25 who cares what's on the plates right? I should have bought more! Here are the costumes from our first trip...
When I got home the kids tried on their costumes, we ate our donuts and headed out to the pool. We came home for lunch and the kids watched a movie while Phil and I laid down for a bit. The kids kept asking about what kind of costumes the lady had etc. so I decided to load them up in the car and take them back. It was 3:00pm by now and I was sure that she would be all cleaned up, but it turned out they were still putting boxes away when we pulled up and were generous enough to let us dig through the costumes again. Here is the booty from our second trip...

Max and Micah both got cowboy costumes, Max even got a fake mustache, but it would not stay on!
And my favorite, Phil as the Incredible Hulk!
Here is what I am working on when I am not being distracted by yard sales and donuts!
My major project for this summer (other than planning our curriculum for fall) is organization. I am making baby steps. Last week I got my craft area organized and now I am working on recipes, menu plans and master grocery lists. These are pictures of the beginning stages of menu planning.
Hopefully I can resist the temptations and distractions and keep chipping away at this overwhelming task. By September 1 our house should be functioning like a well oiled machine. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I am trying really hard right now not to skip lunch and eats a plateful of the cookies I made to take to church tonight. I really should not be aloud to make these cookies because I don't know how to say no!
Today Regan finished her CAT test, so I guess she is officially done with First Grade! We have a few more pages to do in our Explode the Code books and will keep reading throughout the summer, but otherwise we are FINISHED! We will have to have an official celebration this weekend.
After school this morning the kids made these cards to take to a friend who is sick. Then, we got a little carried away at the Dollar Tree putting together a craft basket for her! Hope she has fun with all the great stuff we got!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


From the garden
Years ago my friend Jen B. gave us this popcorn popper. She had heard me say something about wanting to make popcorn and cranberry garland, but not having an air popper. Being the thoughtful and observant friend that she is, she surprised me with this microwave air popper (on the left in the photo)!
This has been a well used gift! I don't think I have used it to make my garland yet, but we use it almost weekly to pop popcorn. It is super easy and better for you than regular microwave popcorn.
Thanks Jen!
P.S. I am adding photos to my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in my side bar!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baking bread and butterflies

We ran out of bread yesterday and I had found this recipe on Urban Homemaker the other day so I decided to give it a shot. I have a bread maker but have never made bread by hand, so this was my first time. It did not turn out as light and fluffy as the reviews said it would, but when I tasted it, it was good, and not so dense that you could hardly eat a whole slice (as homemade whole wheat sometimes turns out).It is important to say, that I do not have a flour mill, so I just used regular whole wheat flour and I did not have dough enhancer or gluten. I am not sure why I can't find the same version of the recipe that I used, but it said that the enhancer and gluten where optional, so since I did not have any, I did not use them. I think I will try the recipe again, and see if I can find someone with a four mill and buy some dough enhancer and gluten to see how it turns out if I actually follow the directions, novel idea, I know!
The kids decorated these masks today while I made my bread. They were left over from our Memorial Day BBQ yesterday.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Long weekend too short

I can't remember a Memorial Day Weekend this beautiful in a long time. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous and we have had a wonderful relaxing weekend. After the pool Saturday me and the kids hung out at home while Phil when to worship practice. He had to run out again to get stuff for communion after dinner, so I put the kids to bed and started on this...
Have I ever told you how much I love aprons? Well, I love aprons! I recently saw a picture of a woman's kitchen and she had a rack full of aprons, one for any occasion!

I have apron patterns, I have designed my own aprons, and I have made aprons I have seen other places, but I always give them away. Not this time!
No matter how much Regan begs!
This is the beginning of my own personal apron collection!

I love our church. I love the pastor, the people, the fact that it is only 1.5 miles from our house. When we lived in MD, Sunday mornings it was always a race to get every one up and ready and out the door, but now, even with Phil leading worship, our Sunday mornings are so much more relaxed. Sunday is also our family nap day, something Phil and I look forward to all week. Everyone naps, except Regan (since she does not seem to need sleep). After a nice nap, our generous pastor treated Phil and I to dinner at the new Sub shop up the road. I packed sandwiches for the kids and we sat outside and ate out Firehouse Subs together, us and the kids.

Last year I had a trellis in my vegetable garden made out of 2x2s. The kids decided it was a fun place to climb, once the garden was dormant for the winter, and collapsed the whole thing. We have had the pieces of wood laying around our back yard all winter and spring, being used for various projects the kids have been working on. Recently they had taken to leaning them against this tree to make a house, only they kept falling oven in the wind.
Today we found some 2 1/2" nails in the garage and nailed the wood to the tree. Then we draped it with these sheets that it just so happened I had sewn together earlier this spring in the hopes of making a tee pee (I know, you are wondering what kind of woman just sews sheet together hoping to someday make a tee pee, well, I am such woman!) And voila, tree house, Wirtz style!
We end our too short, long weekend with a cookout with some good friends and a quiet evening at home. Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

We've had a busy week!

So, this post is a little disorganized, but it is only appropriate considering it's author! Anyway, we have had a busy week, Regan had dance pictures, Max had his Preschool graduation, we went to buy eggs from a homeschool family in Suffolk that has chickens (and ducks, peacocks, bunnies and cats!) and today we went to the YMCA for the new outdoor pools grand opening!

Lulu wanted to be held when we saw the chickens on Friday, so I did not get too many pictures while we were there, but here is one of their Ducks. Ping is the boy, (with the dark orange beak) and I can't remember the girls name. They also had two baby ducks in another pen.
The kids had a great time and got to collect the eggs from the hen house! They are already asking when we can go back again! There were about 30 chickens in all and they were just wandering around the yard. They have three chickens that are "Easter Eggers" which means they lay blueish-green or pink eggs, the others lay white or brown eggs.

Yesterday was my good friend Erica's birthday. A few of the girls got together for cake and games, which we never ended up playing because we were too busy gabbing. Here is a picture of Regan holding the bag that I threw together for Erica yesterday afternoon. I should say that I had made the quilt square on the front of the bag a long time ago, so that was not apart of the "trowing together"!
Here is the pocket inside

Regan's dance pictures were Wednesday night, isn't she beautiful?

Max and Kyle, one of the two boys in his preschool class.

Can you believe it? Max, graduating already? Soon he will be getting a job and moving out!

It was a beautiful day on Thursday, so we played on the lawn of the Church for a few minutes after graduation and I took some pictures.
The kids love to climb between these two trees.

Grumpy Micah
No pictures of the pool, I was nervous to take my camera with me. It is super nice though and the kids had a great time. It was not quite warm enough to swim, for me, but still a beautiful day. I am sure we will have many fun times at the pool this summer!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I love it!

Lulu was playing with Regan's "Ella" doll (Gabriella from HSM) this morning. It is one of Lulu's favorite toys. I heard her from across the room say "Pee pee on Pahee" as she got up and headed to the kitchen (where her little potty is). This is how I found them...Lulu reading Pooh Bear to "Ella" while she goes "Pee pee on pahee". She even had the dolls pants pulled down!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In the garden

So, I started this Blog thinking that it would be a great way for our families (whom we do not live near) to see what it going on in our lives in the day to day of homeschooling and life. But as I began to blog, the idea of writing to a larger audience became more and more exciting. To think, there could be people I don't even know reading my blog! Well, in the past week I have gotten a few comments from these such people (one's I don't know) and it is exciting, but a little scary too! How did they come across my blog? Did they like it? Is my writing atrocious and boring? I am truly fascinated by the whole world of blogging. What fun it is! So, to those I know, and don't know, thanks for reading and come back and leave a note anytime!

The garden is starting to bloom!
We are in Ladybug luv at our house!

I decided to take a chance and grow Ranuculas this spring. We are right on the edge of the growing zone for these, but they are my favorite flowers EVER and impossible to find in stores. There are three with bud and this is the first to show it's colors!

Shasta Daisies

I know you can't see this, but I planted these Hollyhocks three springs ago and for the past two years they have come up and died before they even reached 6 inches! This year they are almost two feet tall and look like they are about to bloom!!!!!

My veggie garden!

Monday, May 19, 2008

More mistreatments and other crafting

So, I must start this post by saying thank you to Nester, who has given me a new found freedom to mistreat all of my windows! I know, I have mentioned mistreatments before (scroll down), but it was not until today that I realized just how liberated I have become thanks to reading about Nester's freedom to mistreat! In the past, when I mistreated , I felt guilty for not following through the "right" way. But now, I realize it really does not matter how I do it, as long as it looks good in the end. And it is actually kinda fun to mistreat (that's the rebel in me talking)! So with that thought in mind, I show the next picture...I have been wanting to make a Roman Shade for the boys room, they keep pulling the curtains down and have broken numerous curtain rods. I am hoping that this will be more boy proof than the curtains (wish me luck)! I started making the shade last night and after one attempt at a batten free curtain, I took it down to try again, with battens. The picture above is from this afternoon. I finally decided I was tired of sewing and busted out the hot glue gun. Truth be told, I love my sewing machine, but I do not like to hand sew, so using the glue gun here was a welcome alternative :) And yes, that is my staple gun in the background, how else was I supposed to hang it?

Here is the finished product! Not too bad for my first attempt at a Roman Shade!

We went to Michael's today. First, for a sale that does not start til next week (yet another example of what happens to your brain after four pregnancies!) and to get dowels for the shade. They had these kits right by the front door for making little wooden boats, planes, race cars, etc. They were only $1 each and included everything you needed to finish them. I let Regan and Micah pick out what they wanted and got an airplane for Max (he was in Preschool). They all really enjoyed this craft project, $3.15 well spent!

The finished products

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Little know fact

I made this last night. Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake. It was okay, nothing to write home about, but is was pretty, so I thought I would post the picture anyway. It was easy to make, but not enough chocolate flavor for my liking. Phil said it tasted like a chocolate biscuit! I would say more like a chocolate scone with too little cocoa powder.

We are not crust eaters in this house. I should rephrase that, the children in this house are not crust eaters. I have heard my mom say a thousand times "I never cut the crust off your bread..." The truth of the matter is, I cut the crust off for two reasons, one, they eat more of the sandwich if the crust is already cut off and two (and most relevant) I cut the crust off so I don't have to listen to them whine about it! Really, Regan and Micah are getting old enough to cut their own crust and here is this mornings evidence of that :)
More evidence of our crust-free environment

Here is the little known fact: Did you know that waffles have crust too?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

breakfast, sneek peaks and rare conditions

Well, I am not sure you would consider this breakfast... more like dessert, but since I ate it at 8:00 am I am calling it breakfast!
We went strawberry picking again yesterday and the berries are better then ever this week. It was hard to stop picking, even though my bucket was full! Someone was talking about crepes recently and I realized it has been awhile since I made any, and with fresh strawberries around, what better time then now? Lucky for me, Phil was going out with a friend for breakfast and the boys did not want to wait for the crepes to be ready, so that meant Regan, Lulu and I had a whole batch of crepes for our selves! You can find my recipe here. Since it was just me and the girls eating I cut the recipe in half. It made about a dozen crepes. Since they were all filled with berries, chocolate chips and whipped cream, they were very filling!

I think Tallulah liked them :)Sneak Peak...
Future Prima ballerina
We are three weeks away from Regan's Spring Dance Concert. She will be dancing in two numbers this year, one ballet and one tap. The theme of the show is Seasons and Regan will dance to "You are the sunshine of my Life" in Spring and to "Fabulous" in Summer. She got her costumes this week and could not wait to try them on for Daddy and have me take pictures. It is going to be a challenge to keep her out of these costumes for the next three weeks!

My Spring Princess

Doesn't she look "fabulous"?

My kitchen floor in rare condition. I actually put this picture here for me, to remind myself that at one point, the kitchen floor actually was clean! I think it may have even lasted a full 24 hours! I still have not figured out what the previous owners were thinking when they put in this cream colored floor in an eat in kitchen? Clearly they did not have kids! Oh, well, in my dream kitchen my floor will always look this good since it will come complete with a live in kitchen fairy who lives to mop my floor and loves to cook for our family :)

blogger templates | Make Money Online